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Blast kills 5 children, wounds 20 people W. Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD, May 18 (KUNA) -- At least five children were killed and 20 people injured in a blast targeting a market in Afghanistan's western Herat province on Saturday, said officials.
Provincial Public Health Director, Abdul Hakim Tamana told media that they have received five dead bodies of children and 20 injured people; some critically.
Provincial governor's spokesman, Jailani Farhad said that the blast happened after a bomb-rigged bike went off in a market in Qol-e-Urdu area of Awba district in Herat.
The target of the bombing is yet to be determined, but a remotely-controlled bomb went off when the district chief's vehicle was passing by the area's main market, the official added.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.
The blast came a day after at least 17 Afghan police officers were killed in a friendly air strike by coalition forces during a battle with the Taliban in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province.
The incidents of violence came at a time when Taliban rebels and the US completed the sixth round of direct talks in Doha, Qatar to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan.
According to figures released by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), nearly 1,700 civilians have been killed and over 3,430 others injured in conflict-related incidents so far this year in the war-torn country. (end) sbk.haq